The figures were revealed in the association’s 58th edition of the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), which provides statistical information and analysis of the airline industry’s annual performance.
Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region carried the largest number of passengers of any region with 1.01 billion, an increase of 9.3% on 2012, while Europe saw 825.9 million passengers, up 3.4%, and North America 818.9 million, up 0.7% on 2012.
Latin America and the Caribbean carried 240.5 million, up 7.6%, while the Middle East saw 157.9 million, an increase of 8.8%, and Africa carried 73.8 million, up 5.6%.
The US is still the largest largest single air market in the world, in terms of total two-way traffic, with 618.1 million, an increase of 3.3% over 2012, = while China saw the biggest rise of 11.8%, and carried 404.2 million passengers.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, comments: “Commercial aviation began 100 years ago with a single airplane, a single passenger and a single route.
“Last year, as recorded in the WATS, the industry carried more than three billion passengers and nearly 48 million tonnes of cargo on nearly 100,000 flights per day, while the real price of air travel fell by 7.4%.
“Aviation’s annual contribution exceeds even these impressive figures. Its global economic impact is estimated at $2.4 trillion and it supports 3.4% of global GDP.
“By value, over a third of goods traded internationally are delivered by air and some 58.1 million jobs are supported by aviation.”
The top three city-pairs based on passengers carried on international routes were, Hong Kong-Chinese Taipei with 4.9 million, down 11.5%, Dublin-London with 3.6 million, up by 6.9%, and Jakarta-Singapore 3.4 million, up by 8.6%.
The top three city-pairs based on passengers carried on domestic routes were Jeju-Seoul with 9.58 million, up by 1.4%, Sapporo-Tokyo 9.17 million, up by 4.7%, and Fukuoka-Tokyo 8.34 million, up by 9.3%.
IATA says globally, cargo experienced weak growth with freight tonne kilometres up only 1.8% compared to 2012, but a reversal of the 1.1% shrinkage in 2011.